Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House in Dong Thap, Vietnam

Huynh Le Ancient is located on Nguyen Hue Street, Ward 2, Sa Dec Town, Dong Thap Province. This is a house with unique architecture, attached to the “borderless” love story of a French female writer. If you have the opportunity to travel Dong Thap, visit the ancient house Huynh Thuy Le to explore the architecture as well as learn about the history of this ancient house.

The house is home to the family Huynh Thuy Le, the first lover of the French writer – Marguerite Duras. This love became the memoir which the writer based on to write the famous novel “Lovers” in 1984. This work was adapted to build into the L’Amant film in 1992 by the French director Jean-Jaques Annaud. Thank the fame of this memoir, the house has become a tourist attraction both inside and outside the country. Many visitors on the Mekong River Delta tour has spent time visiting to visit the Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House.

Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House is a harmonious combination between Eastern and Western architecture. The whole house is built on an area of 258m2. According to our study, Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House was built by Mr. Huynh Cam Thuan, a Chinese businessman famous for wealth (in Fujian, China) in 1895 once in Sa Dec. This was a traditional three-room house of the Mekong River Delta with the main materials being wood and boat- shaped roof covered with yin-yang tile. In 1917, Huynh Cam Tham tried to restore into the brick house with a wooden frame inside. After this restoration, the house had the feature of a harmonious blend between the French, Vietnamese and Chinese architectural styles.

At first glance, the house has restored Romanesque architecture in the 17th century with the tops of half-moon shape doors, pillar heads carved with flower leaf patterns skillfully. However, the interior still retains the traditional three-room style of the Vietnamese. Inside the Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House is divided into three rooms, decorated in the Chinese style.  Along main pillars, there were horizontal lacquered boards, antithetical couplet boards, welts painted vermilion, stuck gold. The system of wooden doors, cabinets, beds, altars are carved very skillfully. In the middle of the house, there is Guan Quan (Quan Van Truong) altar according to traditional Chinese beliefs. Especially, visitors also can watch the photos of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le and his lover – Writer Marguerite Duras, getting to listen to their sad love story.

Later, the youngest son of Mr. Huynh Cam Thuan, Huynh Thuy Le received the right to inherit the house. Over a century and historical changes, Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House still exists and preserves many old architectural features. In 2008, Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House was certified as a provincial monument and was recognized as a national monument in 2009. Currently, Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House was assigned to Dong Thap Tourist Company to preserve and make a sightseeing point. Every year, this place welcomes thousands of visitors from home and abroad.

Not only famous with Huynh Thuy Le House, but Dong Thap also has many interesting places for tourists to visit such as Tram Chim National Park, Gao Giong eco-tourism, Sa Dec flower village, Dinh Yen Mat craft village.

  

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